For the sixth successive year Everton FC fans have renewed their season tickets in record numbers as former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez gets set to lead the club into the new season. Tony McDonough reports
Everton FC fans have renewed their season tickets in record numbers for the sixth successive year despite the uncertainty created by the departure of head coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Last week it was confirmed that former Liverpool FC manager Rafa Benitez would be taking the helm at Everton in place of the departed Italian. And on Friday Everton said more than 30,000 fans had renewed their season tickets for the new Premier League season.
This represent a record renewal rate in excess of 98%. It is the sixth consecutive year Everton has posted record renewals – with the rate having risen from 84% in 2015/16 to its present high.
The Government’s announcement that restrictions on social distancing will end from Monday, July 19, has paved the way for the return of fans in greater numbers for the start of the 2021/22 campaign.
Everton and the Premier League are continuing to work with stakeholders to ensure the return to full capacity is done in a way that keeps everyone safe, with more information on how fans return to Goodison Park due to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Last season, Everton were only able to open Goodison’s turnstiles for three league fixtures, with 2,000 Blues attending games against Chelsea and Arsenal in December, and 6,000 watching the final home outing of the campaign against Wolverhampton Wanderers in May.
New manager Rafael Benitez will begin his reign when Everton kick off their 2021/22 season against Southampton at Goodison Park on Saturday, August 14, with their second home league contest against Burnley on Monday, September 13.
Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, said: “That season ticket members have once again renewed in record numbers, despite the uncertainty and disruption that was caused last season by the coronavirus pandemic, is testament to the loyalty and passion of Evertonians to their club.
“The 16 months since we last saw a full house at Goodison Park have been challenging for everybody and, as a club, we share the excitement and hunger of our fans to once again see the stadium packed to the rafters.”
Everton will now begin the process of contacting those supporters at the top of Tier One of the club’s season ticket waiting list to provide them with the opportunity to purchase a season ticket for the 2021/22 campaign.